7

votes

Why is it so easy to suffer from deficiencies in this diet? I cant imagine the SAD diet offers all of these vital nutrients?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created November 27, 2011 at 8:29 PM

One thing I can definitely say has changed since I switched paleo is how much I have to know about the vitamins I need. For example K2, but not just any ol K2 it has to be mf-4 instead of mf-7 or something. This and other vitamins/minerals you can only get from a few food sources etc. I have struggled with getting the nutrition I need and will get muscle cramps if Im not careful. It feels like I am balancing precariously and every day I am learning about something I am not getting.

So here is my question. If this diet is so much healthier than the SAD diet (which I believe it is but bear with me for the question) than why did I not have this problem on the SAD diet. I cant imagine I was getting all of these things on SAD. I certainly wasnt eating pastured butter, grass fed meat and organ meat. Or nearly the amount of eggs for that matter- and they weren't omega eggs. How was I getting my proper A/D/k2 (or a million other things) eating toast every morning and avoiding fat for the most part?

F52b51135f2c47eb46c986fdc9760b9b

(180)

on November 28, 2011
at 06:41 PM

@ancestral_stars: what are you eating? what's your definition of paleo?

Cfc7dee889a66db9cd76c4f348109294

(1652)

on November 28, 2011
at 04:08 PM

while i tend to be on the chill out side of things, i also get little bumps after i take K2 and muscle cramps if i take too much mag. so, i just go off everything for awhile or take a multi. play around and see what happens.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 28, 2011
at 02:49 AM

LOL Matt! It's a very easy thing to get caught up in though--I've done it myself on a lot of things. When you have a specific health issue you want to address you're always in search of that one "thing" that will reverse/repair it.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on November 28, 2011
at 02:38 AM

All that nitpicking on nutrients shows a deficiency in itself - a deficiency in common sense. ;)

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 28, 2011
at 12:51 AM

Fo shizzle!!! :)

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on November 28, 2011
at 12:47 AM

This is a great question, because I think that the obsessiveness over micronutrients that is often in evidence at PH can be a bit scary to a newcomer.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on November 27, 2011
at 09:42 PM

Good answer. My approach is "everything in moderation" to paleo, and to supplement away the most likely problem areas (K2, O-3 ratio, ZMA).

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on November 27, 2011
at 09:33 PM

sorry that was just an example- but I have been getting keratosis (little bumps on back of arms and legs)lately which suggests an imbalanced of those things. I did not get this on the SAD diet

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on November 27, 2011
at 09:25 PM

What makes you think you were getting your proper A/D/K2/etc?

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7 Answers

best answer

21
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 27, 2011
at 08:52 PM

I think that nitpicking on particular things like K-2 (mk4 vs mk7)or O-3/O-6 ratio or whatever, can have a detrimental effect on one's health and state of mind. If you're constantly worried about whether you ate enough fish that day, or got enough magnesium, or enough calcium or whatever, then of course you're going to feel stressed and wonder why Paleo is so hard.

Many SAD foods are fortified with stuff, like B-12 or folate or calcium or vitamin C, which is how most people are able to scrape by (healthwise) when eating SAD. For a lot of people, they find it very difficult to meet the minimum nutrition guidelines set by the FDA. Personally, I don't give a flip what the FDA recommends, because the results are all around us, ie obesity , diabetes, heart disease etc.

Also, the RDA of most nutrients is based upon SAD, not Paleo. When you remove certain foods with mineral-blocking phytates such as legumes and certain grains, you can get the maximum benefit from the foods you DO eat.

If you're like many Paleo/Primal eaters, you really can't afford to eat everything from local, grass-fed sources. But even eating grain-fed meats and eggs and non-organic veggies is still leaps and bounds over your average SAD eater. Just keep that in mind.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on November 28, 2011
at 02:38 AM

All that nitpicking on nutrients shows a deficiency in itself - a deficiency in common sense. ;)

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on November 27, 2011
at 09:42 PM

Good answer. My approach is "everything in moderation" to paleo, and to supplement away the most likely problem areas (K2, O-3 ratio, ZMA).

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 28, 2011
at 02:49 AM

LOL Matt! It's a very easy thing to get caught up in though--I've done it myself on a lot of things. When you have a specific health issue you want to address you're always in search of that one "thing" that will reverse/repair it.

17
Af005ec9a8e028f2b04bf5367b64e0d6

on November 27, 2011
at 08:38 PM

A large part of it might be in your head, that you are worried about getting enough mf-4 K2 and all this other stuff. You probably just didn't worry about it beforehand so you didnt feel like you were balancing precariously on the edge of not getting enough of every vitamin. If humans needed 100% of an RDA of all of these vitamins every day and every week and every month then we would have died out a long, long time ago. Relax, eat healthy and mix up your food every once in a while.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 28, 2011
at 12:51 AM

Fo shizzle!!! :)

6
19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on November 28, 2011
at 12:32 AM

It's not that it's more easy to become deficient in certain vitamins and minerals on the Paleo diets than on other diets.
It's that generally, people who get serious about paleo, therefore their health, usually will want to do the best possible for themselves. So they will do a lot of research. Weston A Price, Sally Fallon, etc. They might or might not have those deficiencies otherwise, in any other diet.

One thing I can definitely say has changed since I switched paleo is how much I have to know about the vitamins I need.

That's a good thing, good for you :-)

For example K2, but not just any ol K2 it has to be mf-4 instead of mf-7 or something.

Remember, we don't know everything there is to know about food, and honestly, I don't believe we ever will, or that we have to. Other animals don't put on their nerd glasses and do food research at labs.
If you are so willing, eat foods in the way they would be found before industrialization. Food you just picked from your garden. The beef you butchered last fall. The cow/goat milk which you fed your best grass to.
I'm working towards this, because I really want the best for myself, my offspring, and my legacy.
Not everyone will be able to do this, not everyone will want to. That's fine too, do the best you can, if you care.

Regarding K2 in particular, I'm pretty damn sure you're better off with the best milk and milk products, fish eggs, liver, fermented foods.
It's simple. Eat a good variety of food as close to the way they were meant to be as possible. Some will want to be perfectionists, some will be OK eating the commercial butter. Only take supplements if that truly is your only choice.

This and other vitamins/minerals you can only get from a few food sources etc. I have struggled with getting the nutrition I need and will get muscle cramps if Im not careful. It feels like I am balancing precariously and every day I am learning about something I am not getting.

That's true, you shouldn't do paleo eating iceberg lettuce and cheap chicken breast, that's not fair to anyone. Remember, when most people who grew up on wonderbread and hamburger helper think of the paleo diet, they don't KNOW what it means, exactly, because they didn't grow up with offal, bone stock, great fresh milk, fish eggs, lard, etc. So naturally they will eat just the icky stuff like chicken breast and broccoli, and such. Naturally, they will have deficiencies.

So here is my question. If this diet is so much healthier than the SAD diet (which I believe it is but bear with me for the question) than why did I not have this problem on the SAD diet. I cant imagine I was getting all of these things on SAD. I certainly wasnt eating pastured butter, grass fed meat and organ meat. Or nearly the amount of eggs for that matter- and they weren't omega eggs. How was I getting my proper A/D/k2 (or a million other things) eating toast every morning and avoiding fat for the most part?

Do you know if you truly were getting everything you need on SAD?
SAD food is depleted of their original vitamins and minerals, THEN, they are fortified with vitamins and minerals that may or may not be appropriate. For example, you may get too much calcium. That's the thing with fortified processed foods and supplements. You might get too little, you might get too much, maybe it will interfere with absorption of other goodies. So, stick with natural foods, so your body can decide what to take from your meal.
Either way, I'm pretty damn sure you didn't get K2 through SAD. The Vit A you were getting likely wasn't the best one for your health either.
What you are saying, is that you were fine on SAD. You might say that, but were you as well off as someone who was raised on completely natural foods, with offal, fresh pastured milk, fish eggs, etc etc?

I could tell you more, or you could read Weston A Price, and Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I don't feel like plagiarizing their books here. But they do answer your questions, so try and borrow the books from the library, perhaps.

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200251h.html

You can reply to me, but I'm not going to answer, because you can refer to the two books I referred you too. I promise, it will enlighten you :-)

6
Medium avatar

on November 27, 2011
at 08:43 PM

The fact that much of the conversation here at PH focuses on deficiencies is a different from matter from the claim that the Paleo Diet is filled with deficiencies.

"If the only tool you've got is a hammer, everything tends to look like a nail."

Focusing on what's "wrong" and what's "missing" has its limited place, but like any habit, it can be a set of blinders. It can reinforce dissatisfaction that is actually unrelated to dietary things but is easily attached to dietary things.

Focusing on what's working, what can be added to the current plan, new options for exploring new possibilities ??? this is a different strategy. Not a "better" one intrinsically. Just productive of different results. Less productive of surplus dissatisfaction, perhaps?

Look at whatever it is you're doing in your life, all your practices. Then try out the Dr. Phil question:

"How's that working out for you?"

If searching out deficiencies is working out well for you, by all means keep up the search.

4
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on November 28, 2011
at 02:15 AM

Once one goes paleo and eliminates antinutrients from one's diet and begins to eat healthy, natural foods the actual absorption of minerals & vitamins improves significantly, so I think this can be a positive factor.

4
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 28, 2011
at 01:50 AM

If you're worried about deficiencies you should definitely shoot for the moderate, middle-road approach to ancestral eating.

Meat, fruit and vegetables are a great start on good nutrition. Probiotics like kefir (dairy or water) and full-fat yogurt add a bunch more.

The careful emphasis on supplements comes to the fore if you eschew meat or go zero carb, etc. Within the overall framework of ancestral eating, there are many nutrients available and the wider variety you eat the less you will need to rely on supplements.

Otherwise, if you want to stick to a more narrow list of foods then it's good that you're learning the importance of supplements and it's probably just part of your heightened awareness of healthy eating.

3
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on November 27, 2011
at 11:58 PM

It's MK7 and if you don't get enough of it within 3 days of starting on a Paleo diet, you'll die and wake up as a brain eating zombie, since brains contain loads of K2... Oh wait, today isn't April 1st... :-D

Seriously, chill. The SAD diet is horrible because you absolutely don't get the right nutrients, especially not these, and it includes foods such as wheat which remove things like magnesium, zinc, potassium, etc.

It's not so much that if you're on a paleo diet you need K2 and other vitamins and minerals, as much as they're not as available in modern foods due to depletion of soil, and because we realize this, we recommend them.

Adding these in is the difference between doing ok and doing great.

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